Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Cabinet reshuffle, party rejig on cards

PM holds high-level meet , Nadda, top RSS leaders present

Harish Gupta (National Editor, Lokmat Group)
New Delhi, June 30
Final touches are being given for a reshuffle in Union Cabinet and Team-Nadda this month.  A high-level meeting took place  at the Prime Minister's residence  where top leaders of the RSS, BJP president J P Nadda and others were present. 

 Two top functionaries of the RSS, joint general
secretaries Dattratreya Honsabole and Dr Krishan Gopal, BJP general secretary B L Santosh, incharge of organisation along with party chief J P Nadda were present. This is the first time after the 100-days long lockdown that the top  leadership of the government and party apparatus came face-to-face. Insiders say that the meeting among the top leaders continued for more than two and half hours where thorough review of the achievements of the party, challenges and short-comings were discussed. 

Now that the Rajya Sabha biennial polls are over and Unlock 2.0 is in the process and the Parliament's Monsoon session is being planned sooner than expected, a much-delayed rejig is likely.  

There is a buzz that party's key functionary in West Bengal Mukul Roy may be brought into the Cabinet and may get a heavy weight ministry. Similarly, Jyotiraditya Scindia who was recently elected to Rajya Sabha and instrumental in BJP forming the government in Madhya Pradesh will be brought into the Cabinet. Similarly, there is a strong talk of Himanta Biswa Sarma may be brought into the Union Ministry who has done excellent work in the North East as a reward for his services.  The party has to win West Bengal elections and the induction of Mukul Roy will have some electrifying effect. 

It is learnt that some of the Cabinet Ministers were also called in at the PMO for a brief period and they left after a while. What transpired among them is not immediately known. But it is clear that some of the Ministers are under the radar for their poor performance. Those holding more than one portfolio in the government are likely to shed some weight.

Similarly, Nadda has been waiting in the wings to have a team after taking over as party chief on January 20. There are three vacancies in the parliamentary board due to the untimely demise of Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar. There is a talk that any of the two women leaders, Nirmala Sitharaman or Smriti Irani may be brought in. There is also a suggestion that Irani be made the party's face of Delhi while retaining Cabinet post to take on Arvind Kejriwal.